Some Genuine Tips For Hunting Snakes in Texas

There are rules to snake hunting, y'all.
There are rules to snake hunting, y'all. Photo by Eric Sauseda
I understand why people hunt. I might not agree with it, but I’m not going to do that condescending thing where I pretend not to understand the motivation behind it because I’m so intellectually elevated. If LARPing that you’re some sort of animal tracking superhero is your jam, I’m not out here to try and stop you. You have a gun, after all.

But I will admit that I don’t understand the appeal that necessitates the reptile and amphibian endorsement, mostly because they seem like they would make awful, horrific trophies. I mean if you want to stop the feral hog situation or just think that a mounted deer head would tie your room together I can understand that, but gathering up snakes? That’s a little too weird for my blood.

(I’m not even going to get into the idea of hunting turtles, because I mean, seriously?)

But the reptile and amphibian endorsement does exist, and for the low cost of $10 you can “capture indigenous reptiles or amphibians on the shoulder of a public road or any unpaved area of a public right of way.” But there are very specific rules about doing this kind of thing, and as a pair of hunters in Presidio County learned; I know, I thought the only thing to do there was take that one photo in Marfa everyone takes. So, if you’re planning on going out and hunting some snakes yourself, here are some tips you can learn from these two gentlemen.

*Don’t go hunting with artificial light from a motor vehicle.

God gave you eyes and created candles and flashlights for a reason. Anything else in cheating. And no, fireworks are not candles, so don’t go using those either.

*No hunting from a public roadway.

Like, the rule literally says “shoulder of a public road.” Don’t just stop your car in the middle of the road and yell out, “Snake!” Not only is it against the law, but everyone else is just going to think you’re insulting them.

*Always wear a reflective safety vest.

Because you don’t want to be the person who died because he was looking for snakes in the middle of the road and got crushed by an oncoming vehicle. People will make fun of you if that happens. That’s just how the internet is.

*No stopping on a public roadway.

In fairness, breaking this law just makes it sound like the game wardens were trying to run up the score. Granted, you shouldn’t be stopping in the road anyway, but just know if your snaking hunting in the road they’ll hit you for that twice.

*Don’t fall for the fake rubber snake trap.

Oh yeah, the reason our brave hunters were caught was because they stopped in the middle of the road without turning off their lights or wearing the proper vests because the game wardens had left a “rubber grey-banded king snake decoy” in the middle of the road and waited for some brave souls to come pick it up under the cover of darkness. Better still, they realized the snake was fake and picked up anyway because I guess getting a fake snake on a hunt is better than no snake at all.

Happy hunting!
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Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia